Bulldogs playmaker Kieran Foran has emerged as the wild card in the possible make-up of the Broncos spine next year as off-contract five-eighth Sean O’Sullivan fights for a new contract.
The 15th-placed Broncos are keen to bring experienced and proven performers to the club next year as part of a roster overhaul.
Broncos powerbrokers rate Foran highly for the 2011 premiership-winner's toughness, organisational skills, penchant for taking on the line and his big-game experience.
In good news for Foran, he has undergone surgery on the torn pectoral he suffered in the round-17 loss to the Titans and has been given the all-clear to return to training in eight weeks, prior to the start of the pre-season.
Foran’s manager Sam Ayoub said Foran would be the "perfect fit" for Brisbane alongside 20-year-old half Tom Dearden next year if Anthony Milford was given an extended run at making the fullback position following the retirement of Darius Boyd at season's end.
The Broncos are concerned about the condition of Foran’s body after he had several injury-plagued seasons but he played 14 consecutive games before his impact injury against the Gold Coast.
Wingers that start well, end well
He has been the last-placed Bulldogs' best and most creative player with 12 try assists.
"Kieran Foran was probably in the top three halves in the competition this year and played in every game [since round four] before he got injured," Ayoub told NRL.com.
"Kieran is only 30 and everybody knows that his body is fine. He has had issues in the past but he has worked on it and his body has never been better.
"He will be back in eight weeks. He has had his injury and it was a clean injury to his pec. Unfortunately for him the timing wasn’t ideal but like everybody else he will come back from it."
Ayoub is in discussions with another NRL club and also keen to talk with Brisbane.
Playing into the Foran question is the fact that the Broncos won’t be making big decisions on their roster until a new head coach to replace Anthony Seibold is appointed in the coming weeks.
Milford has been ruled out for the rest of the season after re-injuring a hamstring in on Monday that has caused him grief in the past two months.
"Milf is contracted next year and he is not going anywhere. He had an option in his favour which he took up this year," Ayoub said.
Milford’s absence has given O’Sullivan a crack at five-eighth and after fully recovering from an ACL rupture, he must take his chance against the Titans on Saturday night at Robina if he is to stay in the team and earn a new deal.
Foran goes himself
Broncos interim coach Peter Gentle said he had plenty of competition for the No.6 jersey.
"Sean is there and there is Tyson Gamble, who has been outstanding at training, and we have still got Brodie Croft. Sean has to hold that jumper so it is his to lose," Gentle said.
"He has had a tough initiation back into the NRL having to play the Roosters and Penrith and he has handled it pretty well.
Foran leaves field with suspected pectoral injury
"Milf wanted to see where he was at but didn’t make it through the session [on Monday] so his focus now is 2021.
"There is a heap to play for [against the Titans] and every individual has a different reason to play – some for contracts and some because it is their last [few] games with the club.
"Everyone is keen to send [Darius Boyd] out a winner. We are desperate to get him some wins."